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Teaching Development to Improve Education?


From the Newton Apple Tree…              …to the Amazon Rainforest

Jim Page, Babson '01, is now a high school business teacher in Wayland, Mass., who has been named one of fifteen teachers in the country to receive a Fulbright Scholarship!

He will travel to Brazil this summer to participate in the Fulbright-Hays Seminar Learning and the Land: How Sustainable Development Can Build a Strong Educational Foundation. The program includes visiting nine locations from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo to villages in the Amazon – all in 30 days. Jim couldn't be more excited!

Jim has kept in touch with accounting Professor Bob Turner since his graduation. He credits Prof. Turner with being instrumental in showing him the opportunities available for international travel, work, and education. Their friendship and Turner's influence continue long after Turner was assigned as Jim's Honors Project council rep.

Prof. Turner told me that Jim is using what he learned in FME to teach his entrepreneurship class at Wayland High. His students get to plan andoperate a business, and then select a charitable organization to receive the proceeds at the end of the year. The entrepreneurial fire ignited while he was at Babson apparently continues to burn!

Jim, who teaches economics and investing in addition to entrepreneurship to Wayland teens, expects to broaden his own knowledge, AND he hopes to give his students some very real insight into sustainable development. Among the questions he'd like his students to tackle when he returns are:

  • (Entrepreneurship students) – How can entrepreneurs effectively compete in today's globalized marketplace while still demonstrating social responsibility in the communities they serve – understanding that social responsibility includes the sustainable development of land and other resources?
  • (Economics students) – How can sustainable development help with the effects on the division and management of natural resources and resulting income inequalities? 
  • (Investing course) – What corporations and industries will embrace sustainable development and, with it, profitability in the years to come? He will examine with them the connection between profitability and companies fostering the sustainable development of land in Brazil versus those consuming natural resources without utilizing effective conservation practices. 

His students' final exam may ask how a strategy for sustainable development might be used to improve Brazil's wealth gap between rich and poor, and how economics education in other nations might affect their economic disparities.

Listen up, class!